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Above the Houses: Stories

Susan Engberg, Author
Susan Engberg, Author . Delphinium $23.95 (245p) ISBN 978-1-883285-30-2
Reviewed on: 02/18/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Paperback - 245 pages - 978-1-883285-35-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-59434-9
Ebook - 245 pages - 978-1-4532-1323-0
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The nine gorgeously crafted stories of the fourth collection from Engberg (Sarah's Laughter ) go behind closed doors to find everyday desperation. The title story tracks, in the second person, Sophie, the 59-year-old wife and mother of two grown sons who is settling into a new university town, having dutifully, but not willingly, relocated for her husband's new job. The unbearably poignant “Time's Body” opens on an aged husband's witnessing his wife's funeral: his numb detachment, surrounded by friends and family, takes exact measure of his grief. The young woman of “River Hills” must fend off the importunate solicitude of her older brother in order to fulfill her own aspirations, while the new bride in “Moon” teeters between devotion to and estrangement from her new husband, an overworked surgeon in training, and the hapless new husband of “Fortune” chafes in trying to keep up with his exacting new wife and twins. Engberg's quiet denouements feel wholly integral to these tales of quiet desperation. (May)

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